Theatre plays were once a rarity in Hyderabad, but not anymore. The number of plays being staged are increasing and theatre is also finding a lot of takers. However, being a theatre artiste is not considered a full-time profession.
Neeraj Kashikar, a theatre artiste, says he likes theatre because he gets to play a lot of roles and project various emotions through it. He has been into theatre since his school days, but could take it up professionally only in the last four years. And making money out of this was quite a tough job for him in the beginning. “The pay depends on the seniority basis. To increase its popularity, plays should not only be performed in certain pockets of the city, but should be made common for the general public,” says Neeraj, who works in a corporate sector.
“The popularity of a show depends on how well it is publicised and that’s how enough profit can be generated to share it among the participants,” he shares.
While Neeraj thinks that the wages of an artiste largely depends on his seniority, Pallavi Verma, another theatre artiste begs to differ. “Dedication towards the art plays an important role in making a successful career. One should become successful enough to be able to fetch you a respectable income. One has to be smart, focussed and dedicated,” she says. She supports herself through her family business. “I have a passion for theatre but not dedication, which is why I haven’t made it my full-time profession yet,” she adds.
Agreeing that theatre is not a lucrative profession, Samahaara Theatre Group director, Rathna Shekar Reddy, opines, “It’s important for the people to support themselves with other jobs.” Still, he says, that number of youngsters getting into this profession has been increasing. “At workplace, the environment is stressful. They get to relieve their stress while practising. However, one downside is sometimes they are so stressed, that they may not be able to perform well. So we understand them and work accordingly.”
So how does one make a living while staying true to their passion, Rathna Shekar says, “Many schools and universities recruit theatre artistes to teach drama to their students. One can go for that. They can also work in television. They can try their hand at films too. But the requirement at all these places is limited.”
While many say that making money in this industry is tough, Suzanne Patel and Faiz Al Haq, founders of Mint Tea Creatives, make sure that every artiste, who participates in their drama, gets paid. “It’s all about smart work. If we pick up plays that requires a small cast and perform the same play at around three to four places, we can surely make enough money as every ticket costs around `100 and every place witnesses around 80-100 people.” They also perform plays at corporate companies to add to their revenues.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Hyderabad / by Pratima Shantaveeresh / October 31st, 2014